Hydroponics Update : July 2020

Finally, got some decent seedlings started. Had a great vacation, which killed my plants. Seedlings got restarted, sort of. Had to make some modifications. Designing and printing new connectors. Unable to find food grade buckets.

Decent Start

I went out of state for a few weeks to an area that isn’t an epicenter of COVID-19. A friend of mine was gracious enough to take care of the seedlings till I got back, but I think moving them and putting them in a warmer and drier environment put them into shock. Not sure if putting them outside for a few hours a day would have ‘hardened’ them or not, but that is what a bit of research seems to indicate, though. They went into shock and just didn’t come back from it.

Great Vacation

Took a trip to Roswell, New Mexico for about two weeks and had an awesome time. Mostly, drove around and took in the dry desert air while taking in the sights. If you like to shop and want to try ‘altitude training’ then I wholeheartedly suggest going to Riodoso, New Mexico and visiting all, and I mean all the little shops there on foot. I’d suggest getting a cabin so that you can take your time and not worry about how long it takes you to crawl back to it, once your low lander lungs start giving out on you and resting a few doesn’t give you a second wind to continue on. There’s lot to explore and you will see why outlaws liked hiding out in New Mexico, trust me. I’d planned on a week or so, but after the report of my plants going into shock and knowing my lack of skill wouldn’t save them, I decided to stay longer and hang out with my New Mexico friends.

Seedlings! Restart!

Not everything died, I’d transplanted the Marigolds and had mixed in the ‘failed’ seed pods into their pot to add volume to the pot, which turned out in my favor. It seems that some spinach and kale seeds finally decided to start growing, so not all was lost. I also replanted everything that I could, and have even more spinach and kale growing and not much else. I do hope that the cherry tomatoes or such do spring to life and push up above the soil, but I’m not putting much stock in that hope. Going to redesign the frame though, so they have time!

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t take up skydiving

Trying to use 3/4″ pvc was not my best ideas. seems that the light and Mylar were too heavy for it, let along hanging four pots of vegetables from it. So back to the drawing board and try again, I decided on tossing a few monkey wrenches into that thought process, the first being wider PVC pipe, the second being design for PETG and the last being to make it modular. I tried to just make it bigger to fit of course, and ended up with 20 hour prints for each piece and there are six altogether, and lots of supports. I tried my hand at designing for PETG, and that was interesting, to say the least.

Printing in PETG, isn’t vastly different, but not using supports is advised since the material is quite tough and getting the supports out or off takes more than an exacto blade or even a hot knife to do. So you have to split things into parts, which you can use the geometry of the printing process to make even stronger parts, that can be assembled or glued or both later. So I initially tried to print as if using PETG, and my printer isn’t dialed in enough or the print came out poorly due to operator error, so going to the drawing board and redesigning the model into something more modular. It’s a good distraction when trying to locate food grade buckets, especially the 5 gallon variety without holes.

Buck, Buck, Buck, Buck, Bucketttss!

Trying to find black food grade 5 gallon buckets has been an adventure, in of itself. Seems that everybody sells them, but doesn’t have them in stock. I thought of mail order, but I don’t need nor want 25 or even 10. One would think that buying more would make the price come down a bit, but ’tis not the case. Though may find out if I can sell the extra buckets, but does seem to be a hassle, though.

Update, get yer fresh update!

Due to operator (Me) error, this didn’t post Friday. I try to schedule the posts to happen during the day, so that it doesn’t get lost in the email black hole and so that it doesn’t disturb anybody’s down time. If I did this right, this post at noon CST.

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